14 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Yo La Tengo's previous album, Painful, had seen the band pull together its sound with far more confidence than on any previous release. All of YLT's disparate influences coalesced into a flood of sound that was its alone. The shimmering layers of guitar that inform the extended workout "Flying Lesson (Hot Chicken #1)" move far beyond Yo La Tengo's Velvet Underground inclinations (and nowhere near The Flying Burrito Brothers, which the title invokes). "Tom Courtenay" couldn't be more beautifully manicured if it tried, even coming in at three and a half minutes. ("False Ending" fades in as if it's the "Helter Skelter" part of "Tom Courtenay.") Despite Yo La Tengo's skill with feedback and abrasion in general ("False Alarm," "My Heart's Reflection"), the band does some of its best work when it turns reflective, as "Pablo and Andrea" captures the wistful vibe of The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" but with a sound light-years removed. The acoustic "The Hour Grows Late" does similar mournful damage.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Yo La Tengo's previous album, Painful, had seen the band pull together its sound with far more confidence than on any previous release. All of YLT's disparate influences coalesced into a flood of sound that was its alone. The shimmering layers of guitar that inform the extended workout "Flying Lesson (Hot Chicken #1)" move far beyond Yo La Tengo's Velvet Underground inclinations (and nowhere near The Flying Burrito Brothers, which the title invokes). "Tom Courtenay" couldn't be more beautifully manicured if it tried, even coming in at three and a half minutes. ("False Ending" fades in as if it's the "Helter Skelter" part of "Tom Courtenay.") Despite Yo La Tengo's skill with feedback and abrasion in general ("False Alarm," "My Heart's Reflection"), the band does some of its best work when it turns reflective, as "Pablo and Andrea" captures the wistful vibe of The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" but with a sound light-years removed. The acoustic "The Hour Grows Late" does similar mournful damage.

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
20 Ratings
20 Ratings
Ghosts In My Head ,

Another Yo La Tengo Classic

Yo La Tengo might be the most consistent band I have ever come across. They don't have a single bad album in their entire catalogue. This is one of the best. Every song is just perfect!

Enos ,

Mind boggling good

From the opening crackle of Decora, through the gentle hum of The Hour Grows late, and the pop bliss of Tom Courtenay... this album explodes out of the gates with all of the dynamic sounds that defined this band for the next decade ahead.

The album closes out with a few rock masterpieces; My Heart's Reflection is certainly one of their loveliest songs and Blue Line Swinger might be their greatest piece. If you don't own this, get it.

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